Indianapolis, Ind. - After falling behind early to visiting Cleveland State in both games of a double-header, the Bulldogs rallied back to close to within one run each time but would be unable to comeback for the wins, as Butler dropped a pair of games to the Vikings, 3-1 and 6-3, at the Butler Softball Field on Saturday (April 4) afternoon.
Cleveland State took a 2-0 lead in the third inning of the opening contest on a pair of RBI hits, but the Bulldogs would bounce back in their half of the frame thanks to some two-out lightning.
After CSU induced two groundouts to open the inning, Erin Jackson kept things going by roping a double to the gap in left center. Following a walk by Annie Dolan, Alex Boros banged a single to center that brought Jackson around for the Bulldogs' first run of the contest.
The Vikings earned a run back in the top of the seventh and carried a two-run lead into the bottom of the frame.
Butler went right to work, as Paige Ashton hit a hard shot to third that the CSU third-baseman mishandled before Lindsay Schluge rolled a one-out single through the left side to put the tying runs on base.
The rally would end there, however, as CSU pitcher Amanda Macenko worked a strikeout and ground-out to end the threat.
Breanna Fisher started and worked an admirable 6.2 innings, allowing just two earned runs while striking out seven.
CSU once again staked itself to an early lead in the second game, as the Vikings plated a run in the second on an RBI single before tallying two runs on three two-out hits in the third inning to go in front 3-0.
Butler rebounded in their half of the frame, as Lauren McNulty led off with a double to right, moved to third on a wild pitch and came home to score on another errant toss.
Jackson then reached base after being struck by a pitch before Ashton hit a single to right, but the Vikings managed to gun down Jackson trying to reach third while allowing Ashton to move into scoring position at second.
Alex Boros picked up a big two-out hit, however, lining a single back up the middle to bring Ashton home and cut the deficit to 3-2.
The Vikings added to their lead with a run in the sixth, but Butler again responded in its half of the inning with a run of their own after Bridget Paine belted a towering home run deep over the fence in straightaway left field.
CSU made a Bulldog comeback much more difficult in the top of the seventh, however, as the Vikings plated two runs on three hits to take a 6-3 lead before setting down three-straight in the bottom of the inning.
Paine finished with three hits on the day, including her third home run of the season. Jackson and Boros, meanwhile, each picked up a pair of hits.
Butler returns to action on Sunday (April 5) when it closes out the three-game series against Cleveland State beginning at 12:00 noon.